[j-ball] Yokohama to retire #22
- OK, so it was the front page of Nikkan Sports today, and the front page
is known for having the most imaginative writers. (I sometimes think
that a writer is given 3 facts with no background and told to write a
story about it. Maybe that's why I tend to skip the front page often.)
Anyway, here's how the story goes.
Should Yokohama win the pennant this year, they're considering retiring
Sasaki's number (#22) from use (after Sasaki retires).
Currently, only 5 of the 12 teams have retired numbers, Yokohama is one
of the 7 that doesn't. The Giants have retired the most with 6 (of
which Oh's #1 and Nagashima's #3 are probably the best known in this
age). Hanshin has retired 3 numbers, Chunichi and Hiroshima 2 each, and
Sasaki commented, "I feel like I'd like to pass the number on to
someone, but it would be the first for the club. I'd be very happy to
be the first." (Very loosely translated.)
For Sasaki, the number "2" has always been his lucky number. He was
born on 2/22 at 2:22 pm (in 1968). When he entered Yokohama, he wanted
the number 12, but his father and mother both thought that two twos was
a better idea, so he was talked into it.
Sasaki is now within one save point's reach of tying the last available
closer record left, Kaku's (Chunichi) single season 44 save points
record. Once that record joins his golden arm at his shrine at Yokohama
Station (the Daimajinja), Sasaki will possess every known record for a
closer. Sasaki's comment to that is, "I told you already, enough with
the (personal) records. I just want the team to win." (Again, very
loosely translated.) Well, Sasaki, fans love to see records broken, and
since McGuire and Sosa aren't here, your closing work has kept Yokohama
fans very happy.
Yokohama goes against Chunichi for two at Nagoya Dome (so today's rain
doesn't effect them). The Dragons already used up their "two losses" in
their last head to head meeting, so it's a must win situation for
Chunichi. A win tonight will relight Yokohama's magic number at 5
Michael, Margarita, and Jobana Westbay
Japan Pro Yakyu This Week
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